Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Colombiana - Movie Review

Looking for a kick-ass female action hero movie? Look no further

A young woman grows up to be a stone-cold assassin after witnessing her parents' murder as a child in Bogota. She works for her uncle as a hitman by day, but her personal time is spent engaging in vigilante murders that she hopes will lead her to her ultimate target - the mobster responsible for her parents' death.

Who's In It
Zoe Saldana - The heroine, also known as Uhura from J.J. Abrams' Star Trek and Neytiri from Avatar
Michael Vartan - the love interest, who you may have seen in Monster-In-Law with J-Lo
Lennie James! It's a long time since I've seen him in Jericho

What I Thought
This is the movie I was hoping Haywire was going to be.

It starts with an action packed opening scene when the parents of our young heroine are killed. What follows is a hi-octane pursuit through the favelas of a city in Colombia, with unexpected free running from the young school girl. She obviously escapes to exact revenge when she's older.

Extreme hide and seek 
The film jumps ahead 15 years later. She's now an assassin, after being taught by her uncle, and all grown up. There is a great scene of her sneaking into a police station to assassinate a drug dealer. It would be rude of me not to mention her great figure as she sneaks around in a body stocking.

The scenes where she goes out to kill people are then shortened and to the point. The action does drop off a bit as a result as the story is expanded upon. There is an obvious love interest (Vartan) and this girl has some issues with relationships. There's also the loss of her family to deal with and there are a number of emotional scenes throughout the film where she's dealing with these, which are all understandable and believable.

The end is by no means silent and the action hots up again as she exacts her revenge. It's good to see an actress keeping her eyes open while firing heavy weapons. It makes it all the more believable. There's some great slow-motion camera work during shoot outs. And the hand-to-hand fighting is intense with brilliant close up camera work and editing bringing it all together.

Eyes Wide Open
Aside from the plot, there is a filter applied to some of the scenes shot in Colombia which gives the film a warm hue. The soundtrack music is good but used sparingly in short bursts. There's a great cover of the original Portishead song “Give Me A Reason To Love You” by Glory Box, sung by John Martyn, where Saldana struts her stuff.

The only thing that really bugged me about Colombiana was a scene early in the movie where her uncle opens fire on a street in the suburbs to make a point to our young heroine, which wasn't believable.

Overall Saldana puts in a strong performance pulling off the emotional and action scenes. It's also good to see Lennie James getting some more prominent movie roles after all the TV he's been doing.

Memorable Quotes
  • "I used to want to be like Xena ... Warrior Princess."
    "I want to be a killer. Can you help?"
  • "Why is she on my computer?"
    "Can you please come with me."
    "You better not mess up my favourites!"
  • "You must expect the unexpected. She's like mist under a door. Like a mouse in the wall."

4/5 - A great action drama that packs a better story and more emotion than Haywire

From the writer of Taken and the creator of La Femme Nikita and The Professional (Léon)

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